Can I Remove Bonding Clamp?

Can I Remove Bonding Clamp?
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Can I Remove Bonding Clamp?

Bonding Wakefield

Somewhat of a mystery among most customers, whilst I think many of you will have probably seen what you might term an ‘earth bonding clamp’ (it’s not ‘earth bonding’, earthing & bonding are 2 separate things), I feel sure it’s use and the importance of what it does is probably lost on you.

Have you ever asked, Can I Remove Bonding Clamp?

 

 

Whilst I won’t go into too much depth about the whole earthing / bonding debate here, if you would like to clear some of the smoke & mirrors surrounding this, please visit the appropriate page HERE

 

As for the humble clamp around your pipe:  What is the significance of it, and why does it have a thin metallic ‘label’?

 

The clamp (technically known as a BS951 clamp) is designed to provide a tight, low resistance joint to metallic pipework for the purpose of providing a bonding connection.

The ‘wrap-around’ style of the clamp allows it be be applied tightly so that there is no movement, and it is also more likely to resist slight expansion forces of the pipes when heated.

The thin (often sharp!) edge on the ‘label’ has cut many a finger in the back of a kitchen cupboard!  But what is the label for?  Can I remove it?

safety electrical connection

The label contains a set phrase “SAFETY ELECTRICAL CONNECTION DO NOT REMOVE” and is designed to highlight the importance of the connection to end users or others who may want to tamper with it.  The label should not be removed, it would be highlighted as a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED on an EICR if the label was not present.

The clamps come in a range of sizes and variations for both indoor & outdoor use:

  • E14 clamps are for internal use only and are usually red.
  • E15 clamps are for internal or external use and are usually blue.
  • E16 clamps are for internal or external use and are usually green. They also allow larger conductor sizes to be fitted (16mm or sometimes greater)

Can I remove bonding clamp?

Difficult to answer properly as it depends on the type of bonding to which it is pertaining and a whole host of other technical variables.  To simplify things, the answer is NO, do not remove your bonding clamps.  Doing so could be disconnecting a very important safety element of your electrical installation.  If you do need to temporarily remove the bonding clamps whilst renovation works are taking place, these MUST be reconnected upon completion of the works.

All too often, we see DIYers, or even other trades like Plumbers, come along and remove the bonding clamps without knowing the implications of not having them installed.  This is a common problem at kitchen/bathroom refits where the original connections may have been disturbed.

So if you ever ask yourself again:  Can I Remove Bonding Clamp?  You will know where you stand!

How not to use:

We’ve seen BS951 clamps used for a couple of purposes that they are not designed for/serve no use:

  • Bonding clamps are not designed to be used for earthing the outer armouring of SWA cables.  This should be done with the correct SWA gland as detailed HERE.  Not only is the clamp not designed for this job, cutting the sheath of the cable to allow the clamp to be fitted will allow moisture ingress into the armour wires and potentially corrode them.

 

SWA Wakefield

  • BS951 clamps on plastic pipework.  Obviously more of an issue with newer properties, but common sense dictates that it is not going to serve much use on a section of plastic!

 

NOTE:  BS951 (or similar) clamps are sometimes used by the DNO (Distribution Network Owner) to provide an earth to premises.  Although this practise would not be acceptable on cables within the premises, the supply cable comes under a different set of regulations (Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations). As such this does not apply to any main supply cables

 

Need anymore specific advice about the bonding in your premises?  Feel free to contact me and I will be only too happy to assist

 

James Raby

Proprietor, ElectricBlu Contractors

www.electricblu.co.uk

ElectricBluContractors

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4 Responses

  1. I’ve had a landlord electrical report completed on one of our properties and it has failed because the bonding in the bathroom has been removed. We think this may have been done when we had the bathroom upgraded a few years ago.

    How big of an issue is it to reinstall this bonding? Will it be very expensive? The whole property was only rewired about 16 years ago so I’m hoping it won’t be as much cost or disruption as that?

    • Hello Sandra, thank you for commenting on our post!

      The bonding you refer to in the bathroom is called ‘supplementary bonding‘ and is different from the ‘main bonding’ seen underneath the kitchen sink or at the gas meter.

      Supplementary bonding connects metal objects within the bathroom (mainly pipework and such like) to keep all accessible parts at the same “earth potential”. This is of critical importance and if your inspecting electrician has flagged this up then it will certainly need addressing. It is impossible to give accurate advice without having looked at your particular property, however as it is contained to one room (the bathroom), then the bonding is not usually particularly awkward or destructive to install.

      If you have tiled floors and finishes within the bathroom though, this can cause problems with access.

      There is a part of the regulations which concerns the ‘omission of supplementary bonding’. This section contains a list of requirements and if your installation meets these requirements then supplementary bonding is no longer considered necessary. The list is quite technical and you need to be an electrician to complete the required tests, however it can often times be easier to meet these requirements and not have to install the supplementary bonding rather than disturb tiled floors, etc….

      You mention that your property in question was rewired 16 years ago. Properties wired to the regulations in force at that time are not particularly old and in many instances would meet the majority of the requirements for ‘omission of supplementary bonding conductors‘ so I would certainly be looking to that as a way to avoid any potential disruption to the premises.

      Your inspecting electrician knows your particular electrical installation best and so if you ask them to explain the issue further then I feel sure they would be able to advise which is the most relevant course of action to recommend in your particular instance.

      Kind regards
      James
      ElectricBlu Contractors

  2. Is bonding easy to install? An electrician has told me that my home has no earth bonding to the water meter. As such he could not do my work until he had installed my bonding?
    Is this true?

    • Hello Chris, thanks for getting in touch.

      Technically speaking, installing bonding is not a particularly technically difficult job, however as it means running a cable from the consumer unit to the affected pipework (in your case the water pipework), then the location of the services can play a big part.

      If the consumer unit and water pipework are relatively close together, running a cable will be simple and easy. If they are opposite ends of the house then this can prove awkward to thread the bonding cable under the floorboards and around the house.

      Whilst this is technically speaking something that a DIYer could complete at home, I would be wary as this is a crucial safety element of your electrical installation. If installed by an electrician, and then subsequently tested with a continuity tester to ensure it is correctly connected, you can be sure that it has been done to the required standard.

      It is worth noting that your electrician appears to have said that the ‘water meter’ needs bonding. This is not strictly true, it is the pipework itself which requires bonding, usually within 600mm of the entry point to the building.

      Hope that helped?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

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